I know this sounds like sour grapes but so be it, I feel like it's detrimental to me to keep banging my head against this particular wall. I've been in exactly one competition that I enjoyed. There were judges rather than the audience voting and the three people who moved on all had really good sets. One of the judges wrote me later to let me know that it was a really close call between me and the guy who came in third and he reviewed my cd on his comedy website. Cool.
That's not how it usually works.
People I've lost to:
The old tall lady
All her jokes were about being old except for the jokes about being tall and the jokes about being tall and old. There were saggy booby jokes and cougar jokes and when it was almost but unfortunately not entirely over she did her whole set again, as a rap, because nothing is funnier than an old white lady rapping right?
The fat guy
I'm not hating on fat comics. Some of my favorite's are packing a bit of extra warmth and nutrition for the coming apocalypse. This particular fat guy did the "I can't see my penis." joke and that was one of his better ones.
"I like to eat Lumpia but that gives you the farts eh.
Yeah, for real, I lost to Lumpia Farts! What the fuck!
A friend of mine was backstage at a competition with a guy who does a good solid road set. The kind of comic who can always deliver but has nothing unique to offer so he will never escape the one nighter bar circuit. He says it's been years since his last competition, the won where he took 1st place. 2nd place was Lois CK. I didn't check to see if his story was true but I can believe it.
Fuck competitions. These grapes are sour and I aint eating them anymore.